Red Rocks’ confidence catching up to their talent

Red Rocks' confidence catching up to their talent

Georgia Dabritz sticking 10s, Kari Lee’s quiet confidence and the smoothness of the floor routines — there are times when the Red Rocks make things look effortless, and it’s giving them hope for a special season.

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“I don’t have a word for it, but there is something different about this team,” senior Corrie Lothrop said. “Last year the team was very passionate and wanted it really bad, but this team we not only want it, but we are amazingly talented and we are finally getting to the place we want to be.”

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Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden said he hasn’t seen a team like this, one that is filled with this much talent and confidence, since 2007 — a year the Red Rocks finished as the national runner-up. Since then Marsden has taken squads to four other Super Sixes and claimed the U’s first Pac-12 Championship a season ago. But he says this team is better than them all.

It’s easy to see why. Dabritz is a true threat to score a 10.0 on three of the four apparatuses, Tory Wilson is the reigning Pac-12 all-around champion, Baely Rowe has come into her own in the all-around and beam and Lothrop, an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team in 2008, is back to full strength after an Achilles injury, and the list goes on and on and on.

With the emergence of the freshman Lee on balance beam the Utes have solidified their weakest event.

In the past few years the beam has provided many heart-pounding moments as the Red Rocks struggled meet after meet. But Lee felt exactly the opposite Saturday night on the four-inch apparatus.

She went through her routine smoothly and with a sense of ease, and posted a career-high 9.95 to win the event.

“She was just in a zone,” Marsden said. “That’s really what we have been looking for from everyone. She was in the place where athletes are when they have a peak performance, and you don’t remember anything and the next thing you know you’re on your feet on the dismount.”

Lee said that she felt a different sense of calmness before her routine, but struggled to explain exactly what was different.

Wilson helped her out.

“I think this year we have been a lot better about nerves,” Wilson said. “I think in the past years we have kind of gotten nervous have let it get to us. We have gotten better in the mental aspect of not getting nervous.”

The Utes are not just filled with talent, but with confidence, and their scores are showing it.

Dabritz staying strong

The Utah faithful has gotten use to Dabritz ending the meet with a show-stopping floor routine, but on Saturday night it appeared she ran out of gas.

After posting high scores on vauilt and bars, and competing in an exhibition on the beam, Dabrtiz seemed a little off on the floor. Her tumbling passes were low, and she didn’t have the same energy the crowd has grown accustomed to.

“She’s sick tonight,” Marsden said “And I think that’s something to do with her running out of gas at the end of the night in her floor routine.”

Dabritz has been traveling back and forth from Salt Lake to her home in Massachusetts, in the wake of her club coach’s passing. Marsden has been impressed with the way she has coped and continued to perform at a high-level.

“No one can really appreciate what that kid is doing and what she’s been going through,” Marsden said. “It’s been a very emotional time for Georgia, some days it’s better than others.”